Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It's a problem
I have a friend in Texas who has poultry. She keeps geese, ducks, chickens. She is so loving with these animals. One of them got very sick last year, spent her final months napping on my friend's lap. The stories she wrote on her blog and especially her photos of the poultry are compelling, funny (because poultry is, by its very nature, kind of dorky) and beautiful.
Deborah has no problem with the cycle of life. As close as she is to those birds, she still eats meat and poultry. I don't know if she eats her own birds, but it wouldn't surprise me if she did. Her belief is that as long as we are respectful and appreciative, there's nothing wrong with being omnivores, or as Kim says "flexitarians."
Me? I'm a hypocrite. I've tried being a vegetarian but it didn't work. And though I don't eat a lot of meat, it's still a basic in my diet. I am all the better for it since my kidney jing is so weak, or so the Sufi acupuncturist tells me. But - I like a couple of layers of obliviousness between me and the reality of my food. I recoil from shrimp served with their heads still intact. When I see cows or bison, I admit, imagining eating them turns my stomach. But then the next thing you know I'm ordering a burger at the Matchbox bar.
I have trouble at Thanksgiving. The whole gigantic bird, trussed, stuffed, roasted to a golden brown, sitting in the center of the table, kind of freaks me out. Inevitably that sight brings to mind the chicken scene in the film Eraserhead. I'm sorry, I can't help it! All the jokes about turkeys making a run for it so as to survive Thanksgiving make me want to cry. And the presidential pardon of one turkey? Just. Plain. Weird.
This year I'm invited to share the feast of Thanksgiving at a friend's house who is a vegetarian, so there will be interesting options other than turkey, though of course there will be a turkey as part of the meal, sitting there, on display, in the center of the table.
T-day is about eating turkey. It is a ritual meal. I respect that, and I really enjoy the conviviality of joining with others to toast and feast, but oh, the turkey. God.
Perhaps someday I will grow up and resolve this hypocritical personal kink. Or not. Maybe this year I'll opt for a strong drink before dinner. A shot of Wild Turkey would be an ironic choice. Maybe that will help. Ya think?